You are dating to learn more if she will be a good wife for you, not just a fun friend.
When dating, you are looking for a spouse. Someone to build a life with. Someone solid, stable, supportive, caring.
While fun and ‘cool’ are exciting to date, that is not the aspect that makes them great spouses.
During your dating, it is indeed important to confirm that you enjoy each other’s company and that you feel comfortable with each other.
You want to know that she ‘gets’ you and appreciates you -with all your human imperfections and quirks. And you respect and ‘get’ her. Can you be great friends?
You also share about values and visions for life (hashkafa). Are they similar enough? Can you respect and live with the differences?
Also important is to try to ascertain if she will be a good wife and mother. Of course, she has not had the wife and husband responsibilities yet, so you cannot simply look into that.
You can however have discussion about those areas. And learn about her mindset and thoughts about the roles of husband and wife, father and mother.
What makes a good wife for you is very individual.
Some men want a partner in financial responsibilities.
Others know their work is very demanding, and want a supportive wife who makes him comfortable when he is home.
Others may want to spend free hours learning, and need a wife who respects and supports that.
Others may want a simple lifestyle, where the wife may not be working and is always available to their children.
Listen to learn. Listen between the lines. Talk about it directly.
How does she talk about her mother, her sisters, her brother’s wife? What does she say about women (his friends and family members) and their roles in their family? What are her thoughts about work/ community work and family balance?
How does she speak about the role of men and the partnership of spouses in family, household, finances, etc. Do those more or less match what you hope for your family?
What was her experience growing up in her family? What were the roles of her mother? Her father? Does she want to have a similar family dynamic? What does she hope will be different in her own family, and what will she proactively do toward that?
Speak about your vision for family life. How does she respond? How do you feel about her responses?
In these next slides, some men* talk about what they most appreciate in their wives. What these men mention are the first thing that came to mind when asked the question. Of course, there is so much more happening in their marriage relationship.
*All men responding are married more than 5 years.
NOTE: No one woman can be all those things.